1 Samuel 1:4-20

1 Samuel 1:4-20
Ordinary B51


IOn the dayII when ElkanahIII sacrificed,IV

Notes on verse 4a

I {untranslated} = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
II “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
III “Elkanah” = Elqanah. From el (God, a god) + qanah (to get, buy, redeem, create, possess). This is Elkanah, a name meaning “God has created, “God has taken possession,” “God has redeemed,” or “God has obtained.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Elkanah.html
IV “sacrificed” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.

he would giveV portionsVI to his wifeVII PeninnahVIII and to all her sonsIX and daughters;X 

Notes on verse 4b

V “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
VI “portions” = manah. 14x in OT. From manah (to weigh out, reckon, count, number, set, tell. By implication, it is allotting or providing something officially). This is a part or portion. It is something that is weighed out so it can be used specifically for a ration or portion of food. It can also mean a lot as in casting lots.
VII “wife” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
VIII “Peninnah” = Peninnah. 3x in OT. From peninim (jewels, coral); {from the same as pinnah (an angle, corner, cornerstone, tower, bulwark, pinnacle; figuratively, a chieftan); from pen (corner, angle, street, wall)}. This is Peninnah, a name meaning “curler,” “pearl,” or “coral.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Peninnah.html
IX “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
X “daughters” = bat. Related to “sons” in v4. From ben (see note IX above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.

5 but to HannahXI he gave aXII doubleXIII portion, because he lovedXIV her,XV

Notes on verse 5a

XI “Hannah” = Channah. 13x in OT. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is Hannah or Channah, meaning “favored.”
XII “a” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
XIII “double” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
XIV “loved” = aheb. This is to love, beloved, friend. It is to have affection for sexually or otherwise.
XV “her” = Channah. Same as “Hannah” in v5. See note XI above.

though the LordXVI had closedXVII her womb.XVIII 

Notes on verse 5b

XVI “Lord” = YHVH. Related to {untranslated} in v4. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note I above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
XVII “closed” = sagar. This is to shut up, imprison, lock, hand over, or figuratively surrender.
XVIII “womb” = rechem. Perhaps related to racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is a womb.

Her rivalXIX used to provokeXX her severely,XXI toXXII irritateXXIII her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 

Notes on verse 6

XIX “rival” = tsarah. From tsar (properly, a narrow or constricted place; figuratively, trouble, a pebble, an enemy, anguish, or distress); from tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). This is tightness, distress, affliction, trouble, or adversary.
XX “provoke” = kaas. This is to provoke, be angry, grieve, trouble.
XXI “severely” = kaas. Related to “provoke” in v6. From kaas (see note XX above). This is vexation or anger.
XXII “to” = abur. From abar (to pass over, pass through, or pass by; cross over or to alienate; used for transitions). This is for, so that, on account of. Properly, it means crossed.
XXIII “irritate” = raam. 13x in OT. From raam (thunder). This is to trouble, be agitated, irritated, angered. It is used specifically for a peal of thunder.

SoXXIV it went onXXV yearXXVI by year;

Notes on verse 7a

XXIV “so” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
XXV “went on” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XXVI “year” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.

as often asXXVII she went upXXVIII to the houseXXIX of the Lord,XXX she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah weptXXXI and would not eat.XXXII 

Notes on verse 7b

XXVII “as often as” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
XXVIII “went up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
XXIX “house” = bayit. Related to “sons” and “daughters” in v4. Probably from banah (see note IX above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
XXX {untranslated} = ken. Same as “so” in v7. See note XXIV above.
XXXI “wept” = bakah. This is to weep, complain, or lament.
XXXII “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.

Her husbandXXXIII Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heartXXXIV sad?XXXV Am I not moreXXXVI to you than ten sons?”

Notes on verse 8

XXXIII “husband” = ish. Related to “wife” in v4. See note VII above.
XXXIV “heart” = lebab. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
XXXV “is…sad” = yara. 5x in OT. This is to tremble or be shattered from a violent encounter. Figuratively, it can refer to fear.
XXXVI “more” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.

9 AfterXXXVII they had eaten andXXXVIII drunkXXXIX at Shiloh,XL Hannah roseXLI and presented herself before the Lord.XLII 

Notes on verse 9a

XXXVII “after” = achar. From achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following.
XXXVIII {untranslated} = achar. Same as “after” in v9. See note XXXVII above.
XXXIX “drunk” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
XL “Shiloh” = Shiloh. From shalah (to draw out, take away, require) OR from the same as Shiyloh (Shiloh; perhaps “he whose it is” or “tranquil”); perhaps from shalah (to be quiet, safe, tranquil; can imply success or happiness; could also mean to deceive or be negligent). This is Shiloh, perhaps “he whose it is” or “tranquil.”
XLI “rose” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
XLII “Presented herself before the Lord” is not in the Hebrew, but it is in the Greek.

Now EliXLIII the priestXLIV was sittingXLV on the seatXLVI beside the doorpostXLVII of the templeXLVIII of the Lord. 

Notes on verse 9b

XLIII “Eli” = Eli. Related to “went up” in v7. From alah (see note XXVIII above). This is Eli, meaning “lofty.”
XLIV “priest” = kohen. This is literally the one who officiates i.e. the priest. This is where the Jewish last name “Cohen” (and its variants) comes from.
XLV “sitting” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
XLVI “seat” = kisse. From the same as kese (full moon); perhaps from kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is throne – a seat that is covered or has a canopy. Thus, it is a seat that conveys authority.
XLVII “doorpost” = mezuzah. 19x in OT. From the same as ziz (moving things like animals, abundance). This is a door or gate post. In modern Judaism, a mezuzah adorns the doorpost of many Jewish homes in reference to Deuteronomy 6:9. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mezuzah
XLVIII “temple” = hekal. Perhaps from yakol (to be able, endure, overcome, prevail). This is a large building with public access such as a palace or temple.

10 She was deeply distressedXLIX and prayedL to the Lord, and wept bitterly.LI 

Notes on verse 10

XLIX “deeply distressed” = mar + nephesh. Literally “in bitterness of soul.” Mar is from marar (to be bitter, embittered, weep, troubled). This is bitterness literal or figurative. It could be fierce, angry, or discontented. Nephesh is related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
L “prayed” = palal. This is to judge for oneself or in an official capacity. It can also mean to pray or make supplication, to entreat.
LI “wept bitterly” = bakah + bakah. Same as “wept” in v7. See note XXXI above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”

11 She madeLII this vow:LIII “O Lord of hosts,LIV if only you will lookLV on the miseryLVI of your servant,LVII

Notes on verse 11a

LII “made” = nadar. This is to vow or promise.
LIII “vow” = neder. Related to “made” in v11. From nadar (see note LII above). This is a vow – literally, that which was promised.
LIV “hosts” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.
LV “only you will look” = raah + raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LVI “misery” = oniy. From anah (to be bowed down; humility or being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed; literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance). This is misery, poverty, or affliction.
LVII “servant” = amah. This is female servant or slave, handmaid.

and rememberLVIII me, and not forgetLIX your servant, but will give to your servant a maleLX child,LXI then I will setLXII him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death.LXIII

Notes on verse 11b

LVIII “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
LIX “forget” = shakach. This is to forget because of not remembering something or not paying attention to it. It can also mean to mislay.
LX “male” = ish. Same as “husband” in v8. See note XXXIII above.
LXI “child” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
LXII “set” = natan. Same as “give” in v4. See note V above.
LXIII “until the day of his death” = kol + yom + chay. Literally, “all the days of his life.” Yom is the same as “day” in v4. See note II above. Chay is from chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.

He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razorLXIV shall touchLXV his head.”LXVI

Notes on verse 11c

LXIV “razor” = morah. 3x in OT. From mur (to change, substitute, stand by, alter, remove). This is a razor.
LXV “touch” = alah. Same as “went up” in v7. See note XXVIII above.
LXVI “head” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).

12 AsLXVII she continuedLXVIII praying beforeLXIX the Lord, Eli observedLXX her mouth.LXXI 

Notes on verse 12

LXVII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note I above.
LXVIII “continued” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
LXIX “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
LXX “observed” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
LXXI “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.

13 Hannah was praying silently;LXXII onlyLXXIII her lipsLXXIV moved,LXXV

Notes on verse 13a

LXXII “praying silently” = dabar + al +leb. Literally, “spoke in her heart.” Dabar is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words. Leb is related to “heart” in v8. It has the same meaning. See note XXXIV above.
LXXIII “only” = raq. From the same as raq (thin, surely, only); perhaps from raqaq (to spit). This is but, except, at least. In the sense of being thin, it figuratively refers to some kind of limit.
LXXIV “lips” = saphah. This is lip, edge, border, bank – used for a boundary. It can also be speech or language.
LXXV “moved” = nua. This is to waver in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be to tremble, quiver, totter. It could also refer to a fugitive.

but her voiceLXXVI was not heard;LXXVII therefore Eli thoughtLXXVIII she was drunk.LXXIX 

Notes on verse 13b

LXXVI “voice” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
LXXVII “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
LXXVIII “thought” = chashab. This is properly to braid or interpenetrate. Literally it is to create or to wear. Figuratively, it can mean plotting – generally in a negative sense. More broadly, this can also mean think, consider, or make account of.
LXXIX “drunk” = shikkor. 13x in OT. From shakar (to be filled with drink, merry, tipsy; satiated in a positive sense or drunken in a negative sense; also figuratively influence). This is being in an intoxicated state or being a habitual drunkard.

14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacleLXXX of yourself? Put awayLXXXI your wine.”LXXXII 

Notes on verse 14

LXXX “make a drunken spectacle” = shakar. Related to “drunk” in v13. 19x in OT. See note LXXIX above.
LXXXI “put away” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
LXXXII “wine” = yayin. Root may mean to effervesce, referring to the fermentation process. This is wine, grape, or banquet. It can imply intoxication.

15 But Hannah answered,LXXXIII “No, my lord,LXXXIV I am a womanLXXXV deeply troubled;LXXXVI

Notes on verse 15a

LXXXIIII “answered” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
LXXXIV “lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
LXXXV “woman” = ishshah. Same as “wife” in v4. See note VII above.
LXXXVI “deeply troubled” = qasheh + ruach. Literally, “of sorrowful spirit.” Qasheh is from qashah (to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe). This is hard, severe, heavy, obstinate, hard-hearted. Ruach is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.

I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink,LXXXVII but I have been pouring outLXXXVIII my soulLXXXIX beforeXC the Lord. 

Notes on verse 15b

LXXXVII “drink” = shekar. Related to “drunk” in v13 & “make a drunken spectacle” in v14. From shakar (see note LXXIX above). This is a drink that intoxicates like liquor or a strong wine.
LXXXVIII “pouring out” = shaphak. This is to pour out, gust, or slip. It can be to pour as blood, a drink offering, or molten metal. It can also mean to create a mound. Figuratively, it can refer to killing, or spending money.
LXXXIX “soul” = nephesh. Same as “deeply distressed” in v10. See note XLIX above.
XC “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v12. See note LXIX above.

16 Do not regardXCI your servant asXCII a worthless woman,XCIII for I have been speakingXCIV

Notes on verse 16a

XCI “regard” = natan. Same as “give” in v4. See note V above.
XCII {untranslated} = paneh. Same as “before” in v12. See note LXIX above.
XCIII “worthless woman” = bat + beliyyaal. Literally, “a daughter, a worthless one.” Bat is the same as “daughters” in v4. See note X above. Beliyyaal is from beli (lack, nothing, without, wearing out, failure, destruction); {from balah (to grow old, wear out, waste away, consume, spend)} + yaal (to gain, profit, do good, ascend, be useful or valuable; benefitted). This is lacking profit i.e. worthlessness, destruction, evil, ungodly person, wickedness, or Belial.
XCIV “speaking” = dabar. Same as “praying silently” in v13. See note LXXII above.

out of my greatXCV anxietyXCVI and vexationXCVII all this time.”XCVIII 

Notes on verse 16b

XCV “great” = rob. From rabab (to be or become much or many, multiply). This is any kind of abundance.
XCVI “anxiety” = siach. 13x in OT. Perhaps from siyach (to muse, meditate, complain, sing, sigh, speak, or utter). This is a musing, concern, communication, or prayer.
XCVII “vexation” = kaas. Same as “severely” in v6. See note XXI above.
XCVIII “all this time” = ad + hennah. Literally “until now.”

17 Then Eli answered, “GoXCIX in peace;C the GodCI of IsraelCII

Notes on verse 17a

XCIX “go” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
C “peace” = shalom. From shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health. It is to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly. Abstractly, it includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity (not in excessive wealth, but in having enough).
CI “God” = Elohim. Related to “Elkanah” in v4. See note III above.
CII “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “Elkanah” in v4 & “God” in v17. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note III above). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

grantCIII the petitionCIV you have madeCV to him.” 

Notes on verse 17b

CIII “grant” = natan. Same as “give” in v4. See note V above.
CIV “petition” = sheelah. 14x in OT. From shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand). This is something that is requested like a petition, request, or loan. Used frequently in the book of Esther.
CV “made” = shaal. Related to “petition” in v17. See note CIV above.

18 And she said, “Let your servantCVI findCVII favorCVIII in your sight.”CIX

Notes on verse 18a

CVI “servant” = shiphchah. Root may mean to spread out – it would be the same root used in mishpachah, which means family or clan. This is maidservant, female slave, or female bondslave.
CVII “find” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
CVIII “favor” = chen. Related to “Hannah” in v5. From chanan (see note XI above). This is grace, favor, kindness, beauty, precious.
CIX “sight” = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).

Then the woman went to her quarters,CX ate and drank with her husband, and her countenanceCXI wasCXII sad no longer.

Notes on verse 18b

CX “quarters” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
CXI “countenance” = paneh. Same as “before” in v12. See note LXIX above.
CXII “was” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note I above.

19 They rose earlyCXIII in the morningCXIV and worshipedCXV beforeCXVI the Lord;

Notes on verse 19a

CXIII “rose early” = shakam. This is leaning one’s shoulder into a burden or load, whether a person or an animal. Thus, it meant starting or rising early.
CXIV “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
CXV “worshiped” = shachah. This is to bow down, make a humble entreaty, to do homage to royalty or to God.
CXVI “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v12. See note LXIX above.

then they went backCXVII to their house at Ramah.CXVIII Elkanah knewCXIX his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 

Notes on verse 19b

CXVII “went back” = shub + bo. Shub is to turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.” Bo is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
CXVIII “Ramah” = Ramah. From rum (to be high, rise, exalt self, extol, be haughty; to rise literally or figuratively). This is Ramah, meaning height.
CXIX “knew” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.

20 CXXIn dueCXXI timeCXXII Hannah conceivedCXXIII and boreCXXIV a son.

Notes on verse 20a

CXX {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note I above.
CXXI “due” = tequphah. 4x in OT. Perhaps from naqaph (to strike, cut down, surround, destroy, corrode, knock together, or enclose; to surround as a guard or like the sea; coming to the end of a festival time or enclosing in a net or trap). This is a revolution, circuit, end, a passage of time.
CXXII “time” = yom. Same as “day” in v4. See note II above.
CXXIII “conceived” = harah. This is to conceive or be pregnant – it can be literal or figurative.
CXXIV “bore” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.

She namedCXXV him Samuel,CXXVI for she said, “I have askedCXXVII him of the Lord.”

Notes on verse 20b

CXXV “named” = qara + shem. Literally, “called his name.” Qara isthis is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth. Shem may be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
CXXVI “Samuel” = Shemuel. Related to “Elkanah” in v4 & “God and “Israel” in v17 & “heard” in v13. From shem (see note CXXV above) + el (see note III above) OR from shama (see note LXXVII above) + el (see note III above). This is Samuel meaning either the “name of God” or “heard of God.”
CXXVII “asked” = shaal. Same as “made” in v17. See note CV above.

Image credit: “Samuel and Saul” by John Paul Stanley of YoMinistry.

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